The Checklist

A Checklist for choosing a Personal Care Home

First Impressions

Is the staff pleasant, friendly, and helpful?
Do the present residents appear comfortable and happy?
Is the building clean and odor free?
Is there a place for private conversation?
Is there an outside patio or garden area?
Is there a private area for visiting with family and friends?
Is my loved one’s language spoken at the facility?
Is the facility in a good location (close enough for friends and family to visit)? Are there stores nearby?
Is there parking for visitors?
Are family and friends encouraged to visit?

General Policies

Can my loved one bring his/her own belongings, pictures to hang, keepsakes, etc.?
Will my loved one be sharing a room? Is there an extra charge for a private room?
Can my loved one have his/her own telephone and/or television?
What are the rules about visiting? Hours? Children? Pets?
What are the rules about leaving the care facility for a short period of time? (vacation, home visits,
hospitalization, holidays)

Personal Services

What clothing can be sent to the laundry?
How often does the housekeeping staff clean the bedroom?
Is the staff available to take my loved one to medical appointments?

Activities and Programs

Can my loved one pursue his/her own hobbies in the care facility?
Are there church services held in the care facility? Will a minister or rabbi visit if desired?

Resident Bedrooms

Is the room cheerful, clean, and well-decorated?
Is there a window to look out of ? What is the view?
Are the bed and chair comfortable?
Is there enough space to move a wheelchair around, if needed?
How much storage and closet space is available?
Is there a locked cupboard or drawer?
Is there adequate lighting?
Is there a call system?
What are the rules about showers and baths?
Are items familiar to the resident’s past part of his or her room?

The Approach to Care

Are care routines flexible? Is the staff willing and able to adjust their timing of care to fit the needs of the resident?
Does the staff use a resident care program that provides them with specific information about each resident’s routine, background, preferences, etc.?
Is the client’s family considered a key part of the care process? Are they welcomed and encouraged to be involved in care decisions? Are they kept informed?
Can my loved one’s personal physician care for he/she while living in the facility?
How many staff are on duty at night?
What is the staff/resident ratio during the day and evening?
Is the care facility connected with a pharmacy for medications?
Does a foot doctor visit the facility on a regular schedule? What is the schedule?
Does the facility have a Social Worker that can help my loved one or me if needed?

Food Service

How is the food prepared?
Is the dining room clean and pleasant?
What are the dining times? Can my loved one’s breakfast hour be changed?
Are there snacks between meals?
May guests be invited to stay for a meal?

The Physical Environment

Is there enough room for residents to walk and move about freely?
Is there a safe and secure outside area?
Are the residents’ bedrooms private?
Are there separate areas for dining and activities? Do these areas look as “normal” as they would in a home.
Print Friendly and PDF